Turkey provides education to Somali refugee children


Deniz Feneri Association in collaboration with TIKA opens school in northern Kenya for more than 250 orphaned children

By Andrew Wasike and Magdalene Mukami


Turkey-based aid agencies will provide education to more than 250 orphaned Somali children living in Kenya’s north eastern town of Dabaab.

Turkish Deniz Feneri Association in collaboration with the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) has opened Aysel and Serif Findikkaya Orphanage and Integrated Primary School for the children, who were orphaned while fleeing volatile situations in war-ravaged Somalia.

Most of the children were orphaned at an early stage when their parents left Somalia to seek refuge in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee complex.

Dadaab camp, located in northern Kenya’s Garissa Country, is home to over 400,000 refugees, mostly Somalis.

“Now we have a bed to sleep on, we have education, food and water, something that we are not used to have. I am thankful that our lives will change,” said a 12-year-old Hamid Mohammed, who is a beneficiary of the Turkish donation.

According to a UNICEF and 2012 Kenya Aids indicator survey, there were 2.6 million orphans in 2012 in the East African country.

Emre Yuksek, the Nairobi coordinator for TIKA, said: “Despite the crucial role that education plays for disadvantaged communities, it is ignored by aid donors and governments. The impact of this is devastating.”

He said Turkey would like to establish and encourage similar institutions like the Aysel and Serif Findikkaya Integrated Primary School in Africa.

Mehmet Cengiz, the director general of the Deniz Feneri Association, said the school and orphanage will host 256 students.

Cengiz said 180 of total 256 children will be boarding students. “May this facility be a home to thousands of orphans and children who are deprived of formal education.”

Mehmet Findikkaya, who is the main donor to the construction of the school, promised that the children will get free education.

AA News